The Instigator
Con (against)
0 Points
The Contender
Pro (for)
6 Points

free market capitalism

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Post Voting Period
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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/8/2014 Category: Economics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,277 times Debate No: 43586
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (5)
Votes (1)




First round is introductions only. I am arguing against unregulated capitalism, a.k.a. "free market". For the purpose of this debate and to avoid a separate one altogether, we are considering the U.S. economy to be mostly free - market capitalism with an arguably subpar level of regulation (the point of this debate).

My resolution is that capitalism must be regulated by a socialist mentality in order for it to possibly work in the best interest of society. Con's bop is the age old claim that free market is better than a regulated one from a socioeconomic standpoint.


"First round is introductions only."
I am arguing for mostly unregulated capitalism, a.k.a. "free market". I will also use the U.S as an example due to the fact that it is your debate, but I will refer to the U.K and other countries as well with a free market, capitalist system in order to reinforce my point.

My resolution is that the best interests of society can be fully fulfilled yet still keeping a free market, capitalist system, with slight regulation which doesn't curb our freedom in society. Proposition posts, "My resolution is that capitalism must be regulated by a socialist mentality in order for it to possibly work in the best interest of society. "
So I believe what is in our interests is to let the games begin!
Debate Round No. 1


Sorry for the delay but work was holding me up. I thought I had forfeitted already, but lets see what I can do here!

First, I shall state why I believe unregulated capitalism is bad, then I will move on to why I think a socialist mentality is required to make it work.

1. Free-market only works in the best interest of society (a.k.a. "fair market") on paper. Once the human factor if greed comes into play, what we see is the capitalists accumulate more wealth and power at the expense of others who do not have the same resources.

2. Free-market is not actually free, because the bigger companies buy, sue, or out-price the smaller ones, and competition is eliminated in many industries. Multi-industry conglomorates further detract from the idea of a truly free market. Lobbying is also a clear sign of collusion between capitalists and politicians, which is an attack on both free market and democracy.

3. Capitalists can't be successful without capital (which includes labor) and customers (working consumers). Free-market allows capitalists to shape their own rules by taking advantage of their success to deny others the same standards of living. Without regulations, capitalism becomes one big pyramid scheme, which is reflected in the differences of income growth between the lower classes and the top 21% over past decades.

Sources to come in round 2, once I see which points you accept and which ones you challenge on a factual basis.

Why I think socialism is required to make capitalism work:

First, let us acknowledge that socialism can mean a lot of things. Notice that I said "a socialist mentality", however. What I am referring to is the basis of socialist theory (regardless of implementation), which is "advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods". --

What I am advocating has been recently called "democratic socialism":

"[the belief] that both the economy and society should be run democratically to meet human needs, not to make profits for a few. We are a political and activist organization, not a party; through campus and community-based chapters DSA members use a variety of tactics, from legislative to direct action, to fight for reforms that empower working people.

In other words, capitalism should be regulated by the idea that capitalists are not the only members of society, and should not own it via vast amounts of wealt --nor should they horde money while many citizens are struggling to provide food or healthcare for their families, or homeless even.

We used to have what were called "fair profit margins". If the government doesn't set these for industries like healthcare, gas, food, and financial services, the result is that the companies will decide their own fair profit margins, and they wont be consulting you about it. We also regulated industries for a long time to prevent mass media and banking conglomeration, both of which have happened since those regulations fell --resulting in a financial crisis and noticeable decline in the quality of televised reporting (and layoffs due to consolidation, furthering unemployment).

Democratic socialism compliments capitalism by setting a standard of operation for capitalists which centers on the best interests of society, and not their own bank accounts. The point of government is to offer us basic services, including protection and security --this includes from our own corporations.


You made a few interesting points. namely:
"Capitalism should be regulated by the idea that capitalists are not the only members of society, and should not own it via vast amounts of wealth --nor should they horde money while many citizens are struggling to provide food or health care for their families, or homeless even." and "what we see is the capitalists accumulate more wealth and power at the expense of others who do not have the same resources."

Let's take some definitions (Oxford Dictionaries):

Capitalist - "a person who uses their wealth to invest in trade and industry for profit in accordance with the principles of capitalism."
Trade - "The action of buying and selling goods and services"
Industry - "Economic activity concerned with the processing of raw materials and manufacture of goods in factories"
Capitalism - "An economic and political system in which a country"s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state"

So by a capitalist, we are looking for anyone who invests money in businesses or industry for profit, with adherence to the belief that the countries trade should be/ are controlled by private businesses. Anyone who buys shares, owns a business, invests in a business and puts any sort of money into businesses in return for money. Considering only thirty-six percent of Americans view socialism positively, considering stocks are being invested in by 52% of the population, and that as of 2008 there were 27,757,676 firms, and that 15.1% of people were living in poverty in 2010, even though 4.1 % last year were on welfare, we can take this information and deduce that America is predominantly capitalist. So follow this along your debate, you are effectively trying to say is that because a fairly small population of people are not capitalist, and the minority of people are at an economic default, we should change to a democratic socialism system. Even if it were to benefit the poor, it isn't benefiting the majority.

The issue with having a democratic socialist state is that they try to find the best of both worlds. This is not possible. Capitalism is fueled by the private gain of money. The ability for people to go and make money, it is the reason that the industrial revolution prospered as it did. The key word is private. Businesses themselves make the money for themselves, not the Government. I see you took an extract from the DSA, and so did I.
"We are socialists because we reject an international economic order sustained by private profit."
Yet at the same time they still try to withstand capitalist ideas? Because this translates to a capitalist state but high tax, such as the decline going on in France. Or it becomes that the Government funds a majority of services, but as it is still that bit capitalist, so businesses fail miserably putting more people out of work and welfare rockets up. Or it turns basically socialist, which was not your point. It is still possible to have a capitalist state and offer us basic services.

Canada has a great health care system, the U.K has one which works well, as well as a welfare system, as well as free education in general. Scotland has free universities and all these three countries still have a capitalist mindset. By trying to enforce a mindset against businesses, but still keeping them as the predominant source of income, you are only going to raise tax, take money away from businesses, in turn reduce jobs and most importantly, the moment you place a system for the Government to provide enough services, it becomes socialism and removes the incentive for people to work as much which keeps the capitalist vibe alive, it isn't what you said.

Either, reduce the power of business enough that they don't become the predominant source of income, or at most have a small amount of red tape, but too much and you only cause things to decline. Unless we are Norway or Finland and we have the money for this to work, all this leads to is basically Britain before Margaret Thatcher. A system where we try to stay capitalist, but give people power, so there is inflation of monstrous proportions and decline. As I said, only 52% of people invest in markets which are actually now doing pretty well. People themselves need to be more business-wise, or I'm afraid they will be crushed. There is still space for the small business or large firm to thrive, but people need to know how to get yourself onto the stage, or it is inevitable that in the face of competition, you will be crushed. I hope I made my point here, I too am pretty much fatigued with work, but thank you.
Debate Round No. 2


Anonymous forfeited this round.


As Con has forfeited, I would like to argue my points in attempt to convince the floor why free market capitalism cannot work within a socialist mindset, by looking at the fundamentals of a free market economy and a socialist mentality.

"Where buyers and sellers can make the deals they wish to make without any interference, except by the forces of demand and supply. A stock market comes closest to this ideal. See also market economy and open market."[1]

With a free market economy, money is generated by anyone who purchases the product, because the focus is on the buyer. The focus of a free market economy is specifically, the fulfillment of the needs of the buyer, in order to generate profit. Efficiently and quickly. This is the reason we have advertisement, to create a need within a possible buyer as quick as possible. So the need to cut rules and regulations are for this exact reason. The need for a market in which people themselves regulate it is so that it works in the interests of the buyers.

If you have a system in which the market in which the prices are controlled by Government, the business does not have as much flexibility in terms of spending. No matter how much demand increases, a business will not generate as much money as if prices are controlled by the demand. If supply is low, and value increases, but regulation forces a business to not gain as much from it as possible, again there is more monetary loss. Regulation doesn't benefit the business, because a business, as I have established, is reliant on its buyers. Multi-business conglomerates and monopolies may not be morally wrong in the sense of some, but they base their needs of buyers. De Beers, what is effectively a monopoly in the diamond market has manipulated supply and demand to the point that diamonds sell for a lot more than they need to, yet more money is being brought into the monopoly. Which is making workers, shareholders and investors all richer.

Now, I will extend my previous argument with the same quote from the Democratic Socialist Party "We are socialists because we reject an international economic order sustained by private profit."[2]

Now, the basis of socialism is the lack of private profit. Having read Karl Marx's Communist Manifesto first hand, I can assure you that. The aim is for the Government to own private property to reduce greed and the wide social hierarchy, that is essentially the essence. In terms of businesses, the socialist mentality conflicts the idea of businesses. If a business is to supply the need of a buyer, whilst still maintaining profit, then a mentality which believes not in the gain of private profit doesn't make sense. In a business sense, the buyer gains his desired product and the business gains money. If you have a socialist mentality which rejects a state run against private profit, then the whole idea of a business will be sour to you. You want the money to be placed in the hands of the Government, or stay in the hands of the Government to support the population.

Having this mentality, you want the money fed not as much into the business. And there are two main ways to do this. Tax and regulation. And none of these are good for the idea of businesses. Corporate tax is simple to explain the reason why it doesn't work. It reduces the amount of money a business has. If a business has more money, it can buy/produce more goods to sell and fulfill the needs of more people, benefiting everyone. Less money, it does the opposite. Corporate tax doesn't just affect a business, but its workers, shareholders, investors and more importantly, buyers, because in order to keep a level of profit, prices need to go up. The less corporate tax, generally the cheaper things are. As for regulation, I have explained above, it has a similar effect.

A socialist mentality for a free market will be negative for businesses. In the end, the only person benefiting is the Government. Greed is a large issue, but I will tackle that next round. Thank you for reading all of this.

Debate Round No. 3


Anonymous forfeited this round.


Well, I believe I have won this debate, but thank you for taking part.
Debate Round No. 4
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by Vabjorn 6 years ago
Anonymous, I do not think you realize how incredibly broad the terms "socialist theory" and "capitalism" truly are.
Posted by Anonymous 6 years ago
Anonymous argument is that socialist theory should be applied to capitalism, or capitalism will not work in the best interest of society. That is not a very broad statement.
Posted by CJKAllstar 6 years ago
I don't think I am left to argue a narrow viewpoint. His viewpoint as you said, may be broad, but that opens up opportunities for rebuttal and sticking to his resolution, I'm sure this debate will spring into various points of clash.
Posted by SaadTheWise 6 years ago
I find it humorous that Con has constructed an argument in which he is almost guaranteed to win. Pro is left to argue a very narrow view point, where Con can extend his argument to fit several different view points. Way to over achieve Con, you are very brave.
Posted by CJKAllstar 6 years ago
By the first round, do you mean mine as well? Should I post my viewpoint in the first round, or what should I introduce?
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by adontimasu 6 years ago
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Total points awarded:06 
Reasons for voting decision: Con's claim that a free market capitalist society cannot benefit the people was not supported properly within his or her first arguing post. Pro thoroughly explained his or her viewpoint on the matter and expressed why he or she felt that "a socialist mentality" was ultimately a bad mentality for businesses, especially smaller ones. Furthermore, Con forfeited two rounds, costing him or her the conduct points. Pro was the only one to provide sources and, ultimately, provided a persuasive case.

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